Time machines.  Until today, they were science fiction.  Google's Street View has apparently been archiving all of their old pictures, and now you can flip through them and watch your city change.  That means you can watch any part of Lake Charles (or any city you like, really) transform.

Google Maps Street View

Just zoom in to any intersection or address you want in Google Street View, and you'll see their most recent picture of that location.  But check the top left-hand corner, and you'll be able to see the same location every time Google has captured it between 2007 and December of 2013.  Watch as buildings appear and disappear from the last half-decade!  Did you do any renovations to your home in the last five years?  Go backwards in the 'time machine' and watch them disappear!

What's changed in Lake Charles since 2007?  Well, the most obvious changes are in downtown, as you can see below.

Here's The corner of Ryan and Broad in 2007:

Google Maps Street View

And here it is in December 2013:

Google Maps Street View

Of course, the first thing you might notice is that Google was using crappier cameras back in 2007.  They really seem to have stepped up their game, quality wise.  So yeah, six years isn't a huge amount of time, but let some more time go by -- it'll be awesome to track the changes in the Lake Area.  And it'll be easy to settle debates, like "What store was at the corner of XX Street and XX Street back in the day?"

Here are a few more from downtown, just to give you a taste:

Mill Street in 2007 (see the old Sears Building?)

Google Maps Street View

Mill Street today (where the new Courthouse is located)


Here's the corner of Ryan and Kirby in 2007. Yuck.

Google Maps Street View

And here it is today -- PROGRESS!